The right bushing choice is extremely important in getting a board feel that is perfect for you. If you were at an event and overheard the conversations of many longboarders, you would undoubtedly hear something come up about someone’s bushing choices for whatever set up they are riding.
Bushings come in many different shapes and sizes to accommodate all the different styles of trucks and terrain out there. A standard street/carve bushing is shaped like a cone for providing a steep angle for the hanger of the truck to turn on.
A cylindrical shaped bushing, like the Venom Barrel bushing, is a great choice for freeride and downhill because the symmetrical shape offers even-turning pressure on your hanger top and bottom while providing a happy medium between turn and stability. If you are looking to really tighten up your ride, move on to a wide-stepped bushing shape like the Venom Eliminator or Riptide Chubby. They help you get in your tuck and stay tucked for those fast runs.
There is an old saying, “Loose trucks save lives.” And it has stuck around so long because it is true. Your trucks should be loose turn when you need to but strong enough to provide support when you are going at a high speed. Strong ankles also make a huge difference in maintaining stability and balance!
The trick to finding the right bushing combination is to be honest about your weight and the speeds that you plan on hitting to accommodate what type of riding you want to be doing. If you are a lighter weight rider, start on the softer side of the durometer scale and work your way up. If you are a heavier set rider, start on the harder side and work your way down. Go somewhere in the middle if you’re not sure where to start; this may take trying out many different bushings to find exactly what works right and feels best for you, but when you finally get it just right, you’ll know it.